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Nov 7, 2014

Dave's the Man!!

When we arrived in Croatia in May of 2000 with our three little munchkins in tow we were a little in debt. Not a lot but we did have some debt from plane tickets, luggage and just stuff that goes along with moving 5700 miles away. We managed to pay off all our debt within the first year or so on the field and stayed that way until we bought a house here. The home was modest and only cost us 44k which is nothing considering it was 3 stories, had a very small vinyard, more than 30 fruit trees and a huge garage with added on work rooms. It was a great house and it would be fully paid off in 5 years according to our plans.

Then in 2003-4 the bottom fell out of the American Dollar and we lost more than 45% of our monthly support. We went from being able to buy almost 9 Croatian Kunas to buying 4,8 Kunas for one American Dollar. We tried to wait it out but eventually we realized that regardless of what the dollar was "going" to do we were gonna have to sell our house. As much as I loved that house the Lord gave the peace we needed to do what needed to be done. Soon the house belonged to our national co-worker and his sweet family of 6. We were back renting.

We continued to rent and try to stay afloat all the while waiting for the Dollar to make it's comeback but it didn't. We kept waiting hoping we wouldn't have to take a furlough to raise more support but after 1.5 years or barely making it and using credit cards to survive including groceries we finally figured that it was time. We took a short furlough, maybe 6 months and then we were back. We did manage to raise a little more support but we were hopeful the Dollar would improve and so we didn't raise a lot.

Long story short, we would work at getting out of debt only to have an emergency come up and plant us in deeper debt. Someone would get sick and have to go into the hospital, the church vans would break down, our car would break down, it was always something. We would help others and would always give but we could never seem to get out of debt. We were living outside our means obviously but we had no idea how or where the money went.
I'd like to stop rambling just long enough to say, then I'll start again, I know we have survived despite our stupidity because we always put God first. We never robbed from Him or stopped giving to missions and I know that's why we made it. God was keeping up afloat. 

Then we went into a new stage of life and our children started leaving for college. Okay, lets just pile some more debt up there. We would always attempt to get out of debt but between being over extended in the ministry here and also personally it was beginning to be hopeless.

During this last 2 month furlough through a chain of events we heard about Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and bought the kit. We had heard Dave on the radio and heard all the different people who testified to being out of debt but we'd never given it much though. Anyhow, we arrived home 5 weeks ago and started the plan. We watched an hour+ seminar with Dave teaching the steps to financial peace and we immediately started. We follow the plan to a T. If Dave says it we do it. If he says that's stupid, we don't do it. We have learned so much and we are well on our way to financial peace. We have already funded our emergency fund and now we're working on debt retrement and I have to tell you it's amazing to see that debt drop. It's actually shrinking and we can even see a pay off date.

Neither Johnny nor I grew up in money savvy homes and we were taught to live week to week. Get it, spend it and then wait to get more. We just had no idea until now. Not only are we watching our debt shrink but we actually have more money each month to live on. We're eating better and we have money for clothes, which makes me happy. If it's needed then it's budgeted and we actually have money. Before we weren't paying anything off and we still didn't have money. I am amazed at this program and wished we would have found it years ago, like 24 when we were first married.

I would seriously recommend this program for anyone who is having finacial woes. You'll be amazed at where your money is currently going and how fast you can begin to tell it where you want it to go. It's an amazing tool and Dave is great. I swear that man's been listening to the last 24 years of our married. He speaks such truth and has such knowledge.

And before I forget, his program is a Bible based program. He is a Christian and addresses money situations with Bible principles. You can tell me all day what to do and I may or may not do it but you tell me what God says and it's done.

Anyhow, Financial Peace University has been a lifesaver for us. We are only in the second step but we are well on our way to financial freedom and we can't thank Dave enough.

Daves famous saying is:

Live today like no one else so tomorrow you can live and give like no one else.



  1. Tori, my husband and I struggled with the same thing back when we were first married and after our third child was born, back in 1983, we found Larry Burkett who was at that time the only Christian financial advisor. He has the same advice as Dave Ramsay and we put it into practice. Now our son is very "into" Dave Ramsay as he raises his family. (Sometimes to his wife's dismay:) He is very frugal. Being debt free is such a huge blessing. I am thankful my husband had the wisdom to get us headed in the right direction back then! We know so many missionaries in Europe who are struggling with the same things you described. We have some friends in Ireland who are coming home to try to raise some more support. I appreciate all you do for the Lord and I pray He will bless and keep you!

    1. Arlene, I'm not sure how we didn't know abou Dave before but I'm glad we do know, looking forward to being debt free within the next 8 months!

  2. Yep!!! We highly recommend Dave's financial teaching, also. I almost cried in July when we closed on our house, because we would be back in debt ~ a feeling of disappointment living in oilfield country and not having an oilfield paycheck.

    1. Lori, we really feel like we've had some sorta revelation. Wish we had known about it before but better late than never.

  3. Been there and Dave helped us too. We have wavered a little the past year (not saving anything or keeping a tight budget) but have remained out of debt. It took us 5 years to pay off 35,000 in credit card and high interest loans. Next, we are working on the mortgage but now we are waiting to sell the house in Missouri and are determined to keep a low payment when we purchase in OK. As Dave says, "you must live like no one else so that you can someday live like no one else"!

    1. Tammy, I'm always encouraged to hear that people have used Dave's principles and are still debt free. It makes me realize that it does work and is worth living like no one else now so we can live and give like no one else later. Btw, you're moving to OK? That's cool cause we'll be on furlough next year from April to September and maybe we can meet somewhere since we're from south of the red river.

  4. Anonymous3:34 AM

    Thank you so much for sharing this.


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